Out of all the products that liGo sells, the one that seems to provoke the most confusion is the two-way radio. Utter that phrase in a sentence and peoples' eyes tend to glaze over as their minds frantically search for something to bring into the conversation. Even using their more "friendly" title, walkie-talkie, is unsuccessful in eliciting any further discussion other than perhaps prompting reminiscences about the childhood use of tin cans and a piece of string as a communication device.
To many, the appeal of the two-way radio is limited. How could they possibly be useful? And even if you found a use for them, what would you look for in buying them? Well, wonder no more! Allow us to immerse you in top two-way radio talk: we'll show you how they can benefit you and what you need to look out for when making a purchase.
First of all, here at liGo we deal in the best hand-held two-way radios. As the name implies, this type of two-way radio provides a more portable solution for both business and home users. But why use two-way radios when we live in a world of mobile phones and Bluetooth headsets? Actually, there are a many attractive reasons for getting down and dirty with walkie-talkies. The best reason for immersing yourself in the two-way radio waters is that of cost effectiveness. Unlike mobile phones, you don't have to pay a penny for using two-way radios, aside from the cost of charging them (which you have to do with mobile phones anyway). Just think of it: no more dreading the arrival of the postman coming to deliver a mobile phone bill that weighs more than a baby whale. This particular benefit is highly desirable to everyone regardless of whether they are a commercial or home user. And while wireless technology is nothing new, two-way radios make the best use of this ability to provide a fun and fuss-free way to keep in touch, whether it is to stay connected with the family on an outing or communicate with workers on a building site. Walkie-talkies are also useful alternatives to mobile phones in areas where mobile phone reception may be compromised as well as offering greater simplicity in their use.
So now that your appetite has been moistened for these underrated pieces of gadgetry, it's time to learn a little more about the various functions offered by two-way radios and how they can benefit you. The first thing that you need to consider is the distance you require your potential purchase to cover. Power is the prime factor that determines the range of a two-way radio. If you're just looking for something that will allow you to keep in touch with the kids playing in the garden or upstairs, you're not going to need a device that covers a wide range and so a lower powered unit will suffice. However, if you need walkie-talkies that are capable of maintaining communication between a group of hill walkers, you'll require something that provides a bit more oomph in the power department.
Two-way radios are programmed to work on a number of half-duplex ultra-high frequency (UHF) channels. Each channel works on a different frequency and basically provides your own communications workspace. As an example, if others in your area are also using two-way radios, you can choose to communicate on a different channel to other operators in order to avoid interruptions of your own verbal interactions. The term '"half duplex" simply means that only one radio user can speak on a channel at any one time although others can listen in to the conversation. The means by which users speak to each other through walkie-talkies is by way of the "push to talk" button - when you're ready to speak, you simply press and hold in the push to talk button to transmit your speech. Two-way radios also tend to have an LCD screen that provides visual guidance for a channel selection, volume control etc. All walkie-talkies have a squelch control that allow the user to reduce undesirable low power signals and noise thus making transmission and reception signals less "static-y".
I'm sure that by now you're probably developing a greater appreciation of these truly handy little devices. And you'll be surprised to learn that two-way radios, like mobile phones, can also come equipped with a variety of nifty functions. Certain walkie-talkies have a voice activation (VOX) capability which means that they can be used in a hands-free manner - this is very useful in any situation, regardless of whether you're a construction worker carrying a load of bricks or a baby-laden mother trying to stop your children from killing each other in the garden. Some also come fitted with a vibration feature that allows you to be alerted to calls without that annoying beeping: a vital function if you're working in a quieter environment or any situation that necessitates the minimum of interruption. There is also the option of buying rubberised/toughened units for usage in environments where they're likely to take a bit of a knock (parents with rowdy kids, take note!). Or if you've finally decided to undertake that deep sea diving expedition, it's also possible to buy waterproofed two-way radios that are fully fit for the purpose.
Another allure of the two-way radio is the veritable feast of accessories that are available for them. Earpieces with a miniature push to talk switch and built-in mic can provide added security for the businessman or paranoid schizophrenic. Clip-on speaker microphones mean that you can carry on your communications without ever having to lift the unit. You can also purchase spare batteries, charging pods and all manner of bits and pieces to keep your communication moving. In general, there is a phenomenal amount of headsets and other accessories on the market for these impressive products. However, one accessory that does merit special attention is the throat mic. The throat mic comes with a band that attaches round your throat and plugs into the radio unit as does an adjoining earpiece. The throat mic band is fitted with a special sensor that picks up when the vibrations of your throat when talking and by doing so filters out around 90% of the surrounding noise. This means that the sound of your voice will be crisp and clear, even when transmitted from excessively loud environments. It has the added bonus of also working with VOX too.
Now that we've delved into the world of two-way radios and explored the possibilities, it's time for a little summing up. In order to choose which two-way radios to purchase, it is necessary to consider the range you intend to use them over (and thus choose the power capabilities accordingly), the kind of environment you want to use them in (e.g. do you need something durable such as a rubberised handset?), how many channels you are likely to need (do others in your locality use them or something just for yourself and your group?) and any extra functions and accessories that are likely to be of benefit to you (VOX for hands-free operation, throat mic for noisy environments, battery life etc.). No matter what you need, liGo can come to your rescue! We have some of the best two-way radios available today from top manufacturers such as Motorola, Cobra, Kenwood, Doro and Binatone. So venture forth and enter the domain of the walkie-talkie, confident in the knowledge that we'll have something that'll meet with your requirements. Roger, over and out!